The Joy of Reading | Homewise


3 Benefits of reading

Reading is more than just a hobby, it can help to improve mental health and aid in building a social group with shared interests.

It be incredibly cathartic; if you’ve had a busy day that has led to you feeling stressful then it can give you a mental break and help you to relax.

Long gone are the days when you would have a shelf containing a stack of encyclopaedias, but that doesn’t mean they are any less educational.

Books are also a great way to escape from the every day. Experiencing events through the eyes of a narrator gives you a whole new perspective, and if those things happen to include riding on the back of a dragon, time travelling to the Scottish Highlands or solving a complicated murder then all the better.


Alternatives to physical books and where to find them

Whether you’ve run out of shelf space, don’t want to have to hold a heavy hardback when lying in bed, or like to travel and don’t have room in your bag for a selection of books, an e-Reader could be the solution.

There are e-Readers available for pretty much every budget, such as the Kindle PaperWhite, Kobo Libra 2, and the waterproof Kindle Oasis. If you don’t want to spend money on an e-Reader but would prefer to read on a screen then you can download software that can be used on phones, tablets, and computers/laptops to make reading an e-Book possible.

Woman reading on an e-reader

Even better, if you don’t want to buy new books to read on the e-Reader, in recent years, the facilities offered by local libraries have expanded to include the newer technology. Now you can order e-Books for download via apps like Libby, and BorrowBox.

The applications used vary by county, so if in doubt, check your library website or speak with a librarian to find out which ones work with their library catalogue.

Another alternative to reading physical books is audio books. These can work quite well if you suffer regularly from eye strain, or your vision is impaired.

With the advent of services like Audible, audiobooks are easy to get hold of, and with an increase in popularity, libraries have now added audiobooks to their catalogue. They are available to reserve and consume for free via applications like Libby and BorrowBox.

A library and a pile of hardback books

Book recommendations

With so many books hitting the shelves in bookshops and libraries (on what might feel like a daily basis) it can be quite overwhelming when you want to find a new book to read or a new author to try. So where do people go for recommendations?

Word of mouth

Recommendations from friends, and people in your regular book club are a great place to start.


Both Instagram and YouTube are home to a strong and active book community. Publishers regularly post information about new books and readers share short reviews and links as part of the Bookstagram community. Over on YouTube, readers post hundreds of videos recommending and reviewing many genres.

YouTube and Instagram are both free to join and use.


There are a lot of podcasts on platforms such as Spotify, iTunes and Amazon Music promoting reading. Whatever genre you’re interested in (fantasy, horror, thriller), you’ll be able to find a podcast that covers your interests. Podcasts are free to download or stream on many different services.


Book clubs

If you love to read books and have been struggling to find a book club where your favourite genre is discussed then sites like Meet-up and Bookclubs, as well as your local council directories should be your first port of call. Using these resources, you will be able to learn more about clubs not only in your area, but also virtual. Every month more book clubs are set up and as well as being a great place to share your love of books, they are a fantastic way to meet new people who share your interests.

Group of women at a bookclub meeting 



Reading is a great leveller. If you’re planning to move or have recently relocated to a new area and you love to read, then joining a book club or your local library can introduce you to new people and expand your social group.

Joining a new social group can be an overwhelming part of moving, but with a love of books in common, things can be that much easier and there are always so many new (and old) books to talk about.


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